Cinnamon And Weight Loss - 8 Cinnamon Health Benefits

Adding some spice into your life may be just what the doctor ordered, and when it comes to spices cinnamon and weight loss go hand in hand. This delicious aromatic bark from the genus cinnamomom tree has a key weight loss feature in its ability to stop those unruly SUGAR cravings; plus it will also help keep your blood sugar stable. Both of these are vital elements in fighting fat – and more specifically, dangerous belly fat.

 

Different Types of Cinnamon:-

Before we start it is essential to understand some little known facts about cinnamon. There are actually 2 different types: Ceylon and Cassia, and although they both taste similar they are very different in terms of health benefits.

 

For Health Reasons, It is VERY IMPORTANT You Know the below Information About Cinnamon Before You Buy it!!!

flaky bark ceylon cinnamon sticks

Good Cinnamon – Ceylon

Ceylon cinnamon is the more expensive kind, but it also has the superior health benefits, and has a flaky bark (see pic). The problem is, most people who buy pre-ground cinnamon from the supermarket will more than likely be consuming the cassia type. Cassia often comes from China, is up to 10 times cheaper than ceylon and is actually BAD for you if you eat it regularly. I will explain why shortly.

Most cinnamon labels do not disclose which type of cinnamon they use and it often just comes under the umbrella term of cinnamon, but pretty much ALL pre-ground super market cinnamon will be this cheaper variety.

 

The problem with Cassia cinnamon:-

cinnamon bark rolls

Bad Cinnamon – Cassia

The issue with cassia cinnamon is, although it does share some of the health properties of Ceylon it is 1200 times higher in a substance called caumarin. This compound can be dangerous when ingested regularly (especially if you are going to start using cinnamon every day) and it can cause serious health problems, including liver and kidney damage.

Luckily, most people don’t use cinnamon in high enough amounts for this to be an issue as it is often just used as an occasional spice in bakery. But if you are going to be using it a lot you should buy the flaky variety of cinnamon bark, not the hard curls (see pic) and grind it yourself. This really is the only way to know that you’re getting the real deal.

 

CINNAMON AND WEIGHT LOSS – 8 CINNAMON HEALTH BENEFITS

1. WEIGHT LOSS

bulging belly fat

Cinnamon can help with weight loss – and I’m talking belly fat loss specifically. This is because of the effect it has on blood glucose. When we a eat carbohydrates of any kind, which includes all things sweet, flours, grains, starchy vegetables, pulses and fruit, then insulin is naturally released from the pancreas to mop those sugars up. These sugars will then be pushed into our cells to either be used for energy, or STORED AS FAT.

 

Sugar Addiction:-

tea cup and white sugar

Most of us are ‘hooked’ on sugar and high GI carbohydrates and are often on a sugar addiction roller coaster that consists of eating high GI foods, having an insulin response, and then (if those sugars are not burnt off as energy, which mostly they’re not) having those sugars stored as fat.

Cinnamon can decrease the amount of glucose entering the blood after a meal by interfering with digestive enzymes, which in turn slows the breaking down of carbohydrates in the digestive system therefore lowering a meal’s GI… cool huh? 

 

Low GI plant based diet:-

plate of healthy foods

Cinnamon is a great addition to a weight loss program, however you should also be eating a low GI plant based diet for not only better blood sugar control, but also because this type of diet contains lots of high antioxidant, anti aging superfoods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and pulses, and also lots of fiber to keep the digestive tract in tip top condition.

For more information on how to make these changes and start clearing the junk out of your life (and more importantly your precious body) please check out my ’10 Easy Steps To Clean Eating’.

 

A slower release of sugar also means less hunger pangs!

Now to the crux of the matter – the slower those sugars are released into the bloodstream, then the slower and more sustained release of energy you will get. This will not only stop you from craving more sugar or carby foods again too quickly, but will also make you feel fuller for longer. And that’s the point: stable blood sugar stops the cravings that make you gain weight!

 

2. IMPROVES INSULIN SENSITIVITY

blood sugar measuring equipment

Insulin is a hormone that is released by the pancreas to clear and transport sugars (carbohydrates) from the blood and into cells. The problem now is many people are becoming insulin resistant due to this hormone’s over use in our high sugar diets.

Insulin resistance is one of the main hallmarks of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cinnamon is so powerful that it can actually reduces insulin resistance dramatically, and it does this by helping insulin to function properly to lower blood sugar levels.

 

3. ANTI DIABETES

ground cinnamon and sticks

As well as its powerful effects on insulin, cinnamon also lowers blood sugar in other ways by decreasing the amount of glucose to hit the bloodstream after you have eaten a meal.

The insulin mimicking compound that cinnamon contains helps to vastly improve the uptake of glucose into cells – a good thing because insulin is a vital part of keeping blood sugar stable.

Numerous studies have been conducted that now confirm cinnamon most certainly has anti diabetic properties, and at doses of 0.5-2 teaspoons a day can lower blood sugar levels by 10-29%.

 

4. ANTI AGING 

woman with clear skin

All of the above benefits lead onto the amazing benefit of anti aging too! A low GI diet and better blood sugar control will keep you looking young, and that’s an absolute FACT! All these sugar spikes and troughs actually accelerate the aging process – not just on the outside but also on the inside, which means much higher risk of disease.

A low GI diet and the blood sugar control that comes along with it will keep chronic inflammation to a minimum; in turn lowering your chances of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even some cancers. Given the fact that cinnamon in itself is a powerful anti inflammatory, adding it to a low GI diet will only enhance this effect.

 

5.  ANTIOXIDANTS

antioxidants and free radical diagram

Cinnamon is higher in antioxidants than any other herb or spice. Antioxidants are an absolutely essential part of our diet because they mop up the free radical damage that is caused in our bodies by toxins.

These toxins come from many sources, such as food, environment, sun exposure, alcohol, or nicotine. In fact we are being bombarded from ALL angles by toxins every day, many of which we have no control over such as traffic pollution and aeroplane fuel.

Free radicals are basically unpaired electrons that steal electrons from our own cells, thus causing damage to our DNA. This damage then causes aging and disease; but eating high levels of antioxidant rich foods will help negate this damage and ultimately slow down the aging process.

 

6. LOWERS RISK OF HEART DISEASE

human heart

The biggest killer of our time is heart disease and it is something we all simply must take preventative measures against, which is where cinnamon could be a great supplement.

A recent study concluded that a dose of just 120 milligrams a day can reduce bad LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides, AND actually increase good HDL cholesterol.

 

7. ANTI CANCER

cancer cells and tumours

Cinnamon’s effect on cancer cells and tumor growth has so far only been studied in animals, but was still found to be toxic to cancer cells and to cause cancer cell death.

A separate study on mice with colon cancer showed cinnamon had the ability to activate detoxifying enzymes in the colon, therefore having a protective effect against further growth. These amazing results were also supported in test tube experiments where it was seen in human colon cells to activate a protective antioxidant response. I don’t know about you, but this information in itself is enough to make me add cinnamon to my diet!

 

8. ANTI FUNGAL/BLOATING

IBS bloated belly

Cinnamon is a powerful anti fungal, anti microbial, and anti bacterial; and is great in the treatment of fungal infections such as candida overgrowth. It can also inhibit certain bacteria like salmonella and listeria from growing.

It is often used as a digestive aid to help eliminate gas and bloating, and also alleviates IBS symptoms.

 

HOW TO USE CINNAMON

cinnamon sprinkled on coffee

Cinnamon is a very versatile spice: after you have sourced out your’real ceylon cinnamon’ sticks (don’t forget these are the FLAKY bark variety, not the hard tubes) you can grind them up in either a coffee grinder, or pestle and mortar and add to pretty much anything you fancy.

Freshly ground cinnamon tastes just fabulous and smells super fresh. You can bake with it, sprinkle it on your cereal, or add to deserts, yogurt’s, or hot drinks, such as herbal teas or your bedtime milk.

Go crazy with it and try new things, just be sure to get at least a teaspoon into your diet every day to reap all these awesome benefits.

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Stefanie Taylor

I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.

22 Comments

Christina · 22/02/2018 at 11:14 am

I didn’t know there were different types of cinnamon. Great to know! It looks like I’m getting the cheaper quality version, and I’m not really happy about that. Where can I find the ceylon sticks? Do you think Whole Foods has them?

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/02/2018 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Christina, everyone is telling me they are using the wrong type of cinnamon now I have written this post. Iv’e stirred up a right hornets nest :). But yes you probably are using the cheaper one, in fact if it’s pre-ground then that may be all you will ever get – unless they specify on the label, but they never do, plus it would be a lot more expensive if it was the real stuff.

    I’m sure whole foods will do it, just look for the flaky sticks, they are very different from the hard curls so you can recognise them straight away. I myself have bought the flaky bark ceylon cinnamon on Amazon and Ebay before so you can definitely get hold of it. Also, you may find it a lot cheaper in some Indian stores (another place where I have found it hiding before). Hope this helps and good luck!

Simon · 22/02/2018 at 11:17 am

Hey Stefanie, thanks for explaining the difference between Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon, I had no idea regarding the health benefits Ceylon has as opposed to the more dangerous Cassia cinnamon.

My mum has been a huge fan of cinnamon for many years and sprinkles grounded cinnamon daily on porridge, I bet this will be the Cassia type the way you describe as her purchase regards a typical supermarket brand.
She’ll be devastated when I explain the difference between the two types – ha! She’ll certainly make the change towards Ceylon cinnamon and ground it herself.

Thanks for the warning,
Simon.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/02/2018 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Simon, oh no I feel bad now for your poor mum! And yes, it will more than likely be the bad one, but if she is only having a little then it may be ok. Though I wouldn’t want to chance it, especially now I have researched it and found out what I have – sometimes ignorance is bliss hey? I did research this article extensively as I didn’t want to just say things without being 100% sure, but unfortunately it’s all true.

    If I were you I would get your mum on the flaky ceylon cinnamon, you can often buy it in Indian stores, or on Amazon/ebay. It is more expensive though.

Michiel · 22/02/2018 at 11:23 am

Wow this is really interesting!
I eat cinnamon practically everyday in small amounts. I buy the grinded one in little spice bottles and it doesn’t say which one it is. What do you think? it’s probably the cassia one?

kind regards
Michiel

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/02/2018 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Michiel, I use cinnamon every day too and it really does help control sugar cravings for me, but I definitely use the real one as I buy the proper ceylon cinnamon bark from the herbal apothecary where I work. Unfortunately, if you are buying the pre-ground from the supermarket then it is more than likely the cassia type which is a lot cheaper. This problem I am pretty sure about as I have researched it quite extensively and have read this time and time again. I don’t know if there is any way you can find out unless maybe you rang the company or something.

    If I were you and you want to start eating cinnamon for its medicinal benefits, then you should really try and get hold of the flaky bark and grind it yourself. I have actually bought it off of Amazon/ebay before so I know it is available.

      Michiel · 25/02/2018 at 9:19 am

      thanks for the extensive info!
      it is cassia indeed, found it. But I will look for my ceylon flaky sticks.

        Stefanie Taylor · 25/02/2018 at 9:37 am

        Yes, thought it might be, I’m glad you checked. And your welcome for the information, let me know how you get on.

Melissa · 22/02/2018 at 4:14 pm

This is some really interesting information. I had no idea that there was such a difference in the two different types of cinnamon, or that it could even be helpful in losing weight. especially the bad belly fat. Might be something I will look more into. Thank you for the help.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/02/2018 at 9:53 pm

    Hi Melissa, yes you really do need to be sure you are consuming the right type if you are going to start consuming it a lot, for the reasons mentioned in the post. I do use cinnamon a lot myself for weight control and I can say that if you do use it every day it does work, especially alongside other foods like these

Lace · 22/02/2018 at 5:12 pm

Wow, I wasn’t aware that there two types of cinnamon. I’ll be looking for ceylon, can you suggest any organic suppliers? With so many benefits I need to get some soon. Thank you.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/02/2018 at 9:42 pm

    Hi there, yes cinnamon has just amazing qualities doesn’t it? I’m taking it every day now but grinding it myself. Fortunately I work in a herbal apothecary so I can get hold of proper organic ceylon cinnamon.

    You have to make sure you get organic ceylon as I’m sure you can still get organic cassia cinnamon (which is the bad stuff), as it is still classified a cinnamon, that’s why I say you need to see the sticks with your own eyes to make sure it is the flaky variety. I don’t know where you live so I’m not sure if I can tell you where to go locally but I’m pretty sure if you googles organic ceylon cinnamon you could find a supplier…or just go to trusty old Amazon, I’m actually pretty sure I have ordered it from there myself in the past.

Marques Pizarro · 22/02/2018 at 8:23 pm

I love cinnamon! I have come across your articles before, and your information helps me so much! I never knew cinnamon was good for you! My favorite benefit is that cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity. I am planning to add this to my smoothies and protein. Is there a point where too much is not good for you? I hope to see your response, thank you, Stefanie!

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/02/2018 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Marques, thanks so much for the compliment, I am really happy you find my posts helpful. That is my aim ha ha. Yes, cinnamon is amazing, just make sure you get hold of the ceylon stuff as explained in the post, as a lot of it isn’t.

    I honestly don’t think you could take too much, unless you get maybe stomach problems from it. I have it every day at least 3 times. I put it on my breakfast, then have it in cider vinegar with lemon before dinner, and then I often have it in some almond milk at bedtime. I’ve never had a problem with it, and it definitely helps control sugar cravings.

sarah · 25/02/2018 at 5:54 pm

Very good post Stefanie, you always bring something new and informative. Indeed, cinnamon is really very important, I was aware about the health benefits but not as much as you have explained here, honestly. From now on I will use it regularly. Thanks for sharing this informative post.

    Stefanie Taylor · 25/02/2018 at 6:40 pm

    Yes, it’s such an amazing little spice and good for so many things. Plus it tastes amazing! Just be sure you buy the flaky variety if you want the best benefits.

penelope · 27/02/2018 at 3:18 am

I knew cinnamon was good for health, but I didn’t know about its effects on glucose metabolism, and that’s just AWESOME. I’m gonna go online and find some quality cinnamon and order it to make sure I’m getting the good stuff – is there any brand in particular you recommend?

    Stefanie Taylor · 27/02/2018 at 7:19 pm

    Yes, keeping slim and keeping stomach fat specifically off, is ALL about blood sugar and keeping it low with low GI foods. So anything that reduces the insulin response like cinnamon is going to be great in the fight against the flab, lol. I’m really glad I’ve inspired you to get into taking cinnamon every day.

    It just has so many other health benefits and antioxidants that it is good for anybody to take, not just those who want to lose a few ponds and diabetics. I don’t take a particular brand as I get mine from the herbal shop where I work and we get it from specialist suppliers. But, in the past I have got it on Amazon and EBay and it’s been fine. Just remember to get the flaky bark variety called ceylon. If it’s got a flaky bark then it can’t be fake so don’t worry about that.

Blanka · 01/04/2018 at 2:56 am

I always buy Ceylon cinnamon but I don’t use it very often. I didn’t know that you have to take a teaspoon every day to reap some benefits. Thanks for another great post!

    Stefanie Taylor · 01/04/2018 at 8:47 am

    Hi Blanka, yes a teaspoon per day is the best amount for blood sugar control and weight loss benefits. In fact, since I wrote this post I have been making sure to take it every day myself and I find it really does help control sugar cravings, especially at that time of the month when I usually suffer PMS and have no self control. So it’s great for me in that respect and I hope it has positive effects for you too!

      Blanka · 04/04/2018 at 2:11 pm

      It’s good to know. Thanks a lot!

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